About 1550 Bock noted that the tips of the hop shoots cleanse the blood, loosen the bowels and can reduce swellings in liver and spleen. In wine the flowers would remedy poisonings, bladder and calculosis and as syrup would banish fever.
In the Pharmakopöe Württemberg dated 1741 the plant is called anodynum, resolvens, expelling stones, urine and menstruation. In addition it is for external use in the case of bruises and tumours.
Hops have found access in homoeopathy. It is said to have medicinal healing effects for the following ailments: insomnia, nervousness, nervous stomach troubles, flatulence, depression, menopause, menstrual cramps, lack of oestrogen, general cramps, kidney-bladder complaints. In addition it is said to have a diuretic effect.
The application is with tablets, teas, pillows or fragrant sacs, either with hops alone or mixed with valeriana (officinalis) or melissa (officinalis). However less than 0.5 % of the hop volume produced worldwide is used in medicine.
The hop leaves contain campherol, quercetin, quercetin glycoside, proanthocyanidins, ascorbic acid and quebrachitol. Although hops are closely related to hemp so far no cannabinoids (THC) have been successfully proven in hops.
Xanthohumol, a flavonoid contained in the lupulin glands, has shown in many tests (mostly in vitro) an anticarcinogenic potential in various directions. Its antioxidative properties are rated higher than that of vitamin E or genistein. The next few years will show whether this flavonoid is of interest for the pharmaceutical or food industry.
See also: The physiological effects of hops (PDF, 76kb)